We provide two evidenced based approaches to treating trauma both of which require considerable training and supervision before we use them with clients.
What is Somatic Experience Therapy?
When traditional talk therapy becomes a stuck point for individuals in their trauma healing journey, it can be a frustrating process. At times, it may not be enough to simply “outthink” our trauma and focus on cognitive approaches to reframe. Somatic Experience Therapy is considered a “body first” approach meaning that it enables individuals to drop into their nervous systems. How does one do this you might ask?
SE requires one to learn to recognize small shifts in their physiology and emotional state to help them experience a healthy discharge of pent-up energy caused most often by trauma responses (e.g., flight, fight, freeze, and fawn). Somatic Experience Therapy (SE) includes the use of body movement, tracking sensations, and recognizing nervous system shifts in response to body activation/deactivation. This is done through a titrated process by allowing individuals to experience trauma triggers and experience “healthy discharge” or completion of the body’s natural response to activating experiences all within the safety of a therapy session. Through the focal awareness of bodily sensation, individuals can access restorative physiological action patterns. This allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely and gradually neutralized, over time building trust with one’s own body.
For prospective clients, more information can be found here.
"When our minds remember, our bodies are free to forget" - Dr. Galit Atlas
What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach that has gained recognition for its effectiveness in treating trauma. Developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR has since been used for a range of other
psychological concerns, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, OCD, phobias, and disordered eating.
EMDR works by targeting the place where trauma and difficult emotions live – the nervous system. In the context of a safe and supportive environment, your therapist guides you through reprocessing traumatic or distressing memories. Bilateral stimulation – eye movement, tapping, or audio – is added to help rewire the neural networks in the brain where memories are stored
and stimulate the brain’s natural healing process.
EMDR might be the right fit for you if:
You’ve tried conventional therapies or medications and continue to grapple with
distress or experience symptoms related to past adverse experiences.
You recognize the potential benefits of addressing memories from the past, but you’re hesitant to talk about what happened or have found it difficult to open up. In EMDR, you do not have to share the specific details of past experiences in order to see results.
You’re currently in therapy for other concerns and you and your therapist think you could benefit from trauma-focused work as a supplement to your current treatment.
You’ve experienced a traumatic or adverse experience where those memories cannot be recalled (e.g., pre-verbal experiences as an infant or young child, memories that have been repressed, medical trauma during anesthetization). Because EMDR works directly with the nervous system, it can promote healing without requiring the recollection of a specific memory.